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Old 04-28-2005, 11:01 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Modifying mail.app in Tiger to support a 3-pane, widescreen mode


I recently ran over a hint on how to modify netnewswire lite to support the same widescreen mode available in the pro version. The trick was to modify one of the .nib files in the /contents/resource/english.lproj folder inside the application and tell it to view one of the "things" in vertical rather than horisontal mode.

So, i got my Tiger yesterday and with the new look of mail.app wondered if it was doable to give mail.app the same makeover.

The file I think handle the mailview is this: /contents/resource/english.lproj/MessageViewerContents.nib .. switch english with what's your language i think..

So.. I tried to do the same as with netnewswire.. just select the boxes and get up property inspector and then select vertical view.. the problem now is that it is vertical.. but with a box on top of it that's blank and when trying to resice the boxes (the mail-lists and the mailview boxes) it does something strange ad a big gradientpicture gets in the way (difficult to explain..but not hard to understand if you try

So. .just wondering if anyone with more experience with the interface builder than I have would like to take a shot at this.. it should be doable.. and it would be a sweet addition to mail.app.

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Old 04-30-2005, 09:46 PM   #2
Pope Stewart
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yeah....that's kind of wierd. When I clicked on the gradient, it all went gradient. I would like to know how to make it widescreen however.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:08 AM   #3
Pope Stewart
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Well...playing with it some, I did discover maybe why we see that gray bar. Just clicking the horizontal option isn't the way obviously. But when you do that, you notice some container thing ontop. I think the NSTableView is supposed to be inside of that. Since you also play with the nib, see if you can get that to work or something. I need to do more reading about the nib files and interface builder.

Again, I'm not sure, but maybe this is a clue?
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Old 06-09-2005, 11:19 PM   #4
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Talking Trick for modifying mail.app in Tiger to support a 3-pane

After a night of attempts, I found a trick to modify mail.app v.2 in Mac OS X Tiger to obtain a 3-pane mode with an email preview pane at right.

At first you should proceed like for Panther, going into the mail.app package, into the Resources folder and into English.lproj and modifying MessageViewerContents.nib with Interface Inspector, changing it from horizontal to vertical.

Then I was able to solve the problem pointed out by Xarvia by deleting the two images mainSplitterBar.tiff and mainSplitterDimple.tiff which are in the Resources folder. It is an experimental workaround but it works in my PowerMac. There are no guarantees that it does not create other problems in mail.app but so far it seems perfectly good.

P.S. Remember: always make a copy of mail.app. Try my suggestion at your own risk...

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Old 06-29-2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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Thumbs up GREAT Stuff

I've never even dived into the development tools, but after reading this, I decided to give it a try, and it worked like a charm!

HOWEVER: I was wondering if any of you may know of a way to fix the issue of the size bar as mentioned above to actually work in a vertical position rather than horizontal without having to delete the .tiff files.

The reason being is that if you delete the graphics mentioned in the above post, you can't resize the right pane any longer

There has to be a way to make it work. You've gotten this far

I even tried to recreate the graphic by rotating/resizing it but there has to be some sort of size setting.

Thanks in advance!


PS - OH and I'm NEW so be nice Great site!

Last edited by jhipolito; 06-29-2005 at 10:14 AM. Reason: I would like email notifiaction in case I get a response
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:13 PM   #6
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Sounds like I've gotten as far on my own as you guys have. Except I have a problem with being able to resize the message header and text fields after switching to the vertical layout. Has anyone gotten any more progress on this? I saw the NNW view, and now my OCD won't let me rest until I can figure out how to get Apple Mail to match NNW and Outlook 2003 at work.
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Old 12-09-2005, 03:27 PM   #7
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So I tried something that may be of interest. I went into those .tiff files–mainsplitter bar and the dimple with preview and I rotated them so they themselves would be vertical. When I did that I noticed that I was able to resize except for the fact that the bar itself is the huge gradient. For some reason in vertical view the bar gets expanded. We're very close! I 'd love to see this feature available in mail.app.
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:12 AM   #8
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Sounds good, any chance of a screenshot?
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:50 AM   #9
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Been having a bit of a look at this as well. When in Interface Builder editing the MessageViewerContents.nib if you click around in the ListAndMessage Instance the Inspector picks up various 'views'. Could it be that the width of one of these views determines the width of the mainsplitterbar tiff? You can alter the width in the Inspector. I haven't got it right yet though.

If I understood the Auto-sizing thing a bit better that would help as that might be having an influence.
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Old 12-23-2005, 03:39 AM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thinking about this some more:

I'm all new to Interface Builder, but I can't find anything in the nib that links back to an image. Is this perhaps controlled a rsrc file? Or somewhere else?
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